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African and oriental cuisine in Cologne - a summons from the maharaja

Al Salam

Middle East Turkish
African Indian


South Africa comes to Cologne. Here you’ll find lots of hospitality in a country-typical backdrop. The menu is based on traditional Cape-Malaysian and Cape-Dutch cuisine as well as exotic South African game specialties such as springbok. Fish comes from native waters. The drinks served are also those served in the home country, for example Savannna Dry Cider.

›› Altstadt-Süd, Marsilstein 9-13, Tel. 2 05 44 78,

The chairs and benches covered in zebra stripes create an African ambience. The dishes are authentically spicy and surprisingly varied. Great place for a short trip to Africa!
›› Neustadt-Süd, Luxemburger Str. 17, Tel. 4 20 48 91,

›› Neustadt-Süd, Lindenstr. 86, Tel. 998 49 42,

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Middle East

Al Salam
Diners sit enthroned in their seats like in an Oriental palace and are pampered with Arabic and Oriental delicacies. Especially recommended are the many appetizers and the traditional couscous with or without meat. For a sweet ending, there are small filled pastries and exotic cocktails in the lounge.
›› Neustadt-Süd, Hohenstaufenring 22, Tel. 21 67 13,

With its decorative frescoes, ornaments and sculptures, there’s a lot to see in this restaurant, especially at weekends when belly dancers dazzle diners. The food is also dazzling with delicious rice and vegetable dishes with subtle aromas.
›› Altstadt-Süd, Mauritiussteinweg 53, Tel. 9 23 16 66,

Welcome to the realm of the Sultan! Derwisch doesn’t do spartan, so this is a luxurious and comfortable restaurant. Many colorful carpets and mysterious lamps transport your thoughts into the world of the Arabian Nights. If you manage to get a table in a cozy corner, consider yourself lucky because here the exquisite Persian dishes will taste even better.
›› Neustadt-Süd, Luxemburger Str. 9, Tel. 3 97 53 35,

A mezze plate of appetizers is to Oriental cuisine what tapas is to Spanish food. In Oxin you can learn about and learn to love a wide selection of these little delicacies. With them, you can enjoy oven-warm, home-made bread and chilled Muscadet. The opulent main courses that bring a taste of the Orient to Cologne are also very well received by diners.
›› Neustadt-Süd, Alteburger Str. 35, Tel. 9 32 24 64,

If you’re expecting an extravagant Oriental restaurant, you’ll be disappointed. But the kitchen staff know how to bring out the exotic flavor of the Persian dishes. Saffron and basmati rice is mostly used in the cooking and the traditional Khoresh dish, garnished with pomegranate core and walnut, is truly special.
›› Neustadt-Süd, Dasselstr. 4, Tel. 2 40 76 60,

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This restaurant is named after an Indian god, which is a hint that the food is “heavenly.’’ Visit and you won’t be disappointed. Delicious dishes from the tandoori oven enthroned in the middle of the restaurant give out seductive aromas and are brought hot and sizzling to the table. Recommended for the really hungry is the meat or vegetable thali plate.
›› Neustadt-Süd, Händelstr. 26, Tel. 21 31 65,

For text, see vegetarian restaurants.
›› Neustadt-Süd, Roonstr. 3, Tel. 4 92 89 16,

You’ll need to like a little kitsch to enjoy this restaurant. Waiting to be admired are a life-sized tiger by the door to frighten entering customers and water pools with rubber ducks. But customers put up with the decor to enjoy the excellent north Indian cuisine served here. You’ll soon forgot the decorative horrors when curries with different degrees of spiciness, tender meat and exotic sauces awaken your taste buds. One of Cologne’s best Indian restaurants.
›› Altstadt-Nord, Marzellenstr. 50-56, Tel. 13 73 22,

While you wait for your food, you can broaden your knowledge of the art of love. The walls of this excellent restaurant are decorated with scenes from the Kama Sutra. If that’s too complicated, you can devote your love to the food. Whether it’s tender meat, grilled prawns or fresh okra pods, the inimitable aroma of Indian cuisine lies seductively in the air here. It’s said that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, and that’s appropriate here.
›› Altstadt-Süd, Weyerstr. 114, Tel. 34 89 28 28,

Mumbai Palace
Two Indian eating palaces run by the Hundal family attract fans of spicy, exotic food. You can follow the typical aroma of coriander, ginger and cumin to the restaurant on Sülzburger Straße or the sister establishment in Cologne city center, which opened in 2009. Both are worth a visit, not least to enjoy the many attractive sounding and extremely lovingly prepared dishes. These are served, according to taste, aromatic, mild, middle, hot or very hot.
›› Sülz, Sülzburger Str. 93, Tel. 4 84 86 48
›› Altstadt-Süd, Am Malzbüchel 1, Tel. 21 85 04

Taj Mahal
Time appears to have stood still here, at least when it comes to the decor. The carpets and large paintings on the wall create a dignified atmosphere that’s sedate and relaxing. There’s even no sign of the kitsch usually seen in Indian restaurants. Instead the sparkle comes from the authentic Indian and Bengali specialties, always prepared with fresh ingredients.
›› Altstadt-Nord, An St. Agatha 27, Tel. 2 58 03 36,

Don’t be put off by the austere exterior because this is a good place for Indian food lovers and for those who want to experience the cuisine. The traditional samosa and pakora Indian starters can be recommended for Thali diners with a small appetite. For others the chicken tikka masala and the large choice of vegetarian dishes can be warmly recommended. On request, all the dishes can be prepared mild and they can also be taken home for a domestic Bollywood night.
›› Neustadt-Süd, Engelbertstr. 9, Tel. 23 91 69,

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There are many Turkish restaurants but not many like the Bosporus, so it’s no wonder that the establishment was awarded the Gastro Award 2009 for excellent food. The award pleased owner Ali Balaban, who can honestly be said to be passionate about gastronomy. Naturally, customers are also happy and there are many of them every evening, discovering the secrets of Turkish cuisine with dishes such as grilled fish on a skewer or the sumptuous plate of food prepared Istanbul style.

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